NVIS – Near Vertical Incident Skywave. Also known as a ‘cloud-burner’ antenna, or what I call pretty much any HF antenna in a compromised position! NVIS! Specifically designed for local communications rather than long distance HF, these antennas direct most of your signal straight up. However, I’ve been known to land DX on many NVIS antennas if the conditions are right!

These antennas also carry lower noise properties than say a regular dipole at the proper height. The Texas Army MARS website has a great article on NVIS antennas, check it out: NVIS Antenna Theory & Design.

I recently got together with N5CFB & K5JM to test out some NVIS antennas, and I must say that I am quite impressed with the results! The noise floor on 80 meters during this test was almost non-existent!

With the decline of the solar cycle near, an antenna like this might prove useful in more than just a mobile situation! Easy enough to erect, and cheap enough to build, why not! Go for it! 80/40 meters is highly popular here in Texas it seems, (40 during the day, 80 at night).

I was actually quite impressed with the quality of the Buddipole, custom made parts & components that were uniquely molded/created for this antenna. That could be a down side though, if a repair is ever needed. Buddipole systems aren’t cheap, but in a mobile situation, I’ve found that sometimes a commercially made option is sometimes a bit more rugged than a homebrew one!

This was my first time using an iCOM ic-7000 as well. I really enjoyed the color screen, the audio quality was excellent, the radio even has a temperature indicator on the screen! How neat! Thanks to N5CFB, K5JM, & K5WEJ for a wonderful evening spent playing radio!


  1. Hi Johnny,

    An interesting post. I use homebrew inverted V dipole antennas for SOTA and National Park activations where I rely on 40m NVIS propagation out to 400 km. A homebrew inverted V dipole might cost no more than $30.00 to construct and will weigh much less than a commercial product. If you have time for experimentation, a comparison of the Buddipole agsinst a homebrew inverted V would be of interest to portable operators.
    Thanks for sharing the post.
    Andrew VK1AD


    1. Thanks for the idea Andrew! Taking your advice & getting out of the shack now that the weather has faired a bit! Jon is very big on monoband dipoles, we might just set one up in an inverted V when we do this setup this Halloween!


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